May 2016 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

May 2016 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities


May 2016 - Twin Cities 

Summer Camp Volunteers
True Friends
Date/Time: Specific dates in July and August
Location: Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN, or Camp Courage North in Lake George, MN

Families with up to 7 members (two of whom are adults 18 years+) will assist during camp depending on skill sets (including, but not limited to: cabin support, kitchen support, housekeeping, or program design). Volunteers directly support True Friends' mission: "Provide life-changing experiences that enhance independence and self-esteem for children and adults with disabilities."

Ages: Families with children five and older are welcome to volunteer - adults must provide supervision for those under 18 years. Onsite housing and meals are provided at no cost.
Time Commitment: One week; food and housing provided at no charge; various weeks June-August.

Contact: Maureen O'Connor, 952.697.2286  

Garlic Mustard Pulls
Three Rivers Park District
Date/Time: Friday, May 6 or Saturday, May 7, 9am - noon, Silverwood Park; Friday, May 20 or Saturday, May 21, 9am - noon, Hyland Lake Park Reserve
Location: Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony; Hyland Lake Park Reserve, 10145 Bush Lake Road, Bloomington
Help preserve forests and woodlands by harvesting garlic mustard. Once established, this invasive non-native plant prevents the regeneration of native plant species. Take some of your harvest home for cooking; although invasive here, other cultures (mostly European and western Asian) have used it as a cooking herb for centuries. Volunteers help increase the amount of area we can cover to keep this aggressive invader at bay, and volunteers can further assist in early detection and eradication by sharing their new knowledge of what garlic mustard is and the impact it has on our environment. Your help is extremely important to this battle on invasive species! Click here for more information.
Ages: Volunteers must be eight or older; and youth ages 8-14 must be accompanied by an adult. A permission form must be submitted for minors before participating in these service events.
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact:, 763.559.6706. Advance registration is required; online registration preferred
Arbor Day and Community Tree Planting
Tree Trust & the City of St. Louis Park
Date/Time: Saturday, May 14, 9am - noon
Location: Bass Lake Park, 3450 Glenhurst Ave, St. Louis Park

Come help plant 100 trees in Bass Lake Preserve. The City of St. Louis Park and Tree Trust, a St. Louis Park nonprofit, have once again partnered to plant trees in St. Louis Park as part of our Arbor Day Celebration. Bass Lake Preserve is in the process of being re-vegetated with native plants and is in need of more diverse trees and your help!
Ages: Families with children of all ages are welcome to participate.
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact: Tate Vaughan,, 952.767.3919
Stamp out Hunger
Second Harvest Heartland
Date/Time: Saturday, May 14, 2:30 - 6pm
Location: Volunteers are needed at the following Cub Stores:
  • 8421 Lyndale Ave. South, Bloomington
  • 10520 France Ave. South, Bloomington
  • 8690 E Point Douglas Rd, Cottage Grove
  • 3550 Vicksburg Lane North, Plymouth
  • 1177 Clarence Ave, St. Paul
  • Sun Ray, 2197 Hudson Road, St. Paul
Second Harvest Heartland is partnering with the National Association of Letter Carriers and Cub Foods to orchestrate the nation's largest, single-day food drive: Stamp Out Hunger. Volunteers will help by loading 10-pound grocery bags from letter carriers' vehicles into a Second Harvest Heartland truck. Not able to volunteer? Everyone can participate by leaving a bag of non-perishable, non-breakable, non-expired food items at your mailbox for your letter carrier to pick up on Saturday, May 14.

Ages: Families with children ages eight and older are welcome to join the fun!
Time Commitment: Three and one-half hours
Contact: Jess Swanson, Registration is available online.
Twin Cities Heart Walk
American Heart Association
Date/Time: Saturday, May 14, 7am - 1pm. The walk begins at 8:45.
Location: Target Field, Minneapolis

The Heart Walk promotes physical activity and heart-healthy living in a fun, family environment. It is a time of celebration for those who have made lifestyle changes and encourages many more to take the pledge to live healthier lifestyles while raising the needed to fund life-saving research and education, advocate for health and save lives! Volunteers are needed to cheer on walkers crossing the finish line.
Ages: Families with children ages ten and older are welcome to volunteer.

Time Commitment: Four hours
Contact: Jenni Isenhower,

Gardening Enthusiasts
Date/Time: Flexible, once a week or every two weeks starting in late April
Location: 3111 First Avenue South, Minneapolis, or 4432 Chicago Ave South, Minneapolis

Come make Tubman's garden beautiful! At Tubman, we help more than 40,000 adults and children get the support and information they need to reach their full potential for safe, healthy, stable lives. Come help us brighten our corner of Minneapolis by maintaining a flower garden for our clients and neighbors to enjoy. We need volunteers to take on spring cleanup, planting, and general maintenance. Bring your creativity and garden tools (or use our garden tools!) This opportunity is perfect for families, a group of families, scouts, or any gardening enthusiast in search of a garden!

Ages: Families of all ages are welcome!
Time Commitment: An hour or two for cleanup and planting at the start of the gardening season and then a quick visit for watering and some light weeding.
Contact:  Joanie, at or 612.767.6680
Plant Native Shrubs and Wildflowers in the Oak Savanna
Friends of the Mississippi River
Date/Time: Saturday, May 21, 9 - 11am
Location: Minneapolis River Gorge, Minneapolis

Just off the main path along the Minneapolis riverfront lies a surprisingly beautiful and rare oak savanna and woodlands. This area includes the highest quality plant communities remaining in the River Gorge, including a mesic prairie and a remnant oak brushland/woodland undergoing restoration to oak savanna. At this event, volunteers will work closely with FMR ecologist Alex Roth and local River Gorge Steward ecologist Carolyn Carr to plant native shrubs, trees and wildflowers. These native plants will provide habitat - for birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife - and help filter pollution from runoff waters before it can enter the Mississippi River. Tools and gloves will be provided

Ages: Families with children are welcome to volunteer.
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Amy Kilgore,, 651.222.2193 x31. Capacity is limited and preregistration is required. Please include: the name of the event, your name, address and phone number and the number in your party.
Spring Into Service
Community Thread
Date/Time: Saturday, May 21, 9am - noon
Location: Sites are located throughout the St. Croix Valley.

Spring into Service helps local nonprofit organizations that work to strengthen our community every day. By volunteering to beautify and spring clean at these organizations, volunteers help those who support this community. This family-friendly volunteer activity engages 100-200 volunteers annually, assisting with a variety of projects to help nonprofits better serve the St. Croix Valley. You can choose the project that most interests you. Sign up today!
Ages: The minimum age to volunteer is eight. Check individual opportunities under the Needs section for additional age requirements
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact: Paige Stein, 651.439.7434, Register online at by May 8.
Summer Meal Program 2016
Neighbors, Inc.
Date/Time: Various weekday breakfast and lunchtime shifts in June, July or August
Location(s):  Henry Sibley High School, 1897 Delaware Ave, West St. Paul
Kaposia Education Center, 1225 1st Ave S, South St. Paul
Moreland Elementary School, 217 W Moreland Ave, West St. Paul
Somerset Elementary School, 1355 Dodd Road, Mendota Heights
South Saint Paul High School, 700 2nd Street N, South Saint Paul

Children need proper nutrition to learn and stay active. Volunteers are needed to serve breakfasts and lunches to students attending summer school. This is a perfect service opportunity for workplaces, churches, community groups, families, and individuals looking for fun opportunities to help their community. Volunteers serve meals to students and encourage students to take milk and other required food items; minimal food preparation is sometimes required with supervision from school kitchen staff. Your support will provide students a healthy meal to get them through their day!

Ages: Minimum age is 5. Volunteers 5-13 years old need to be accompanied by an adult. This is not an appropriate activity for children younger than 5 years old.
Time Commitment: Between two to three hours per shift
Contact: Scott, 651-272-1136 or Registration is available online
Get Involved with The Family Partnership!
The Family Partnership
Date/Time: Flexible, contact Christy,, 612.341.1600. Please contact Christy prior to starting a project.
Location: Contact Christy for donation locations
The mission of the Family Partnership is to build strong families, vital communities, and better futures for children. Here are five ways you and your family can help their clients:
  1. Assemble Healthy Snack Bags: Volunteers are needed to assemble healthy snack bags for the hundreds of children, teens, and adults served each day at The Family Partnership's five locations and four drop-in childcare sites. Click here for snack bag directions.
  2. Decorate Journals for Teens and Adults: Journaling can be a very powerful therapeutic tool. Volunteers are needed to make journals for clients of The Family Partnership. You can take a composition book or spiral notebook and turn it into a journal by decorating the cover. Your family or group could assemble journals from scratch if you have a spiral binding machine.
  3. Make Stress Balls: The Family Partnership counseling services help people struggling with a wide range of challenges: abuse, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief/loss and life transitions. Stress balls help their clients focus. You and your family can help by making and donating these stress balls. Click here for directions on how to make stress balls.
  4. Provide Calendars for Clients: The Family Partnership provides calendars to give to youth and adults clients so they can keep track of meetings, appointments, homework assignments, etc. Almost any kind of calendar would be fine but a monthly wall-type calendar or a one-week- on-a-page planner type calendar would be ideal.
  5. Coloring books and crayons: Collect and donate coloring books and crayons for clients of The Family Partnership. Please don't include coloring books that are religious or that could be considered offensive.
Interested in other ways to get involved? Click here for 20 Ways to Get Involved with The Family Partnership. 
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Flexible, depending on project
Contact: Christy,, 612.341.1600
Lebanon Hills Garlic Mustard Challenge
Dakota County Parks
Date/Time: Three training sessions will be offered: Tuesday, May 3, 6 - 8pm, Thursday, May 5, 6 - 8pm, and Saturday, May 14, 9 - 11am. Following the training, volunteers are encouraged to continue to pull garlic mustard in the park through June 15.
Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan

During this event, volunteers will learn about why garlic mustard is a threat to our native ecosystems, how to identify this invasive woodland weed, and how to pull it. Following a brief training, you'll work alongside Dakota County staff and other volunteers to hone your skills and prepare for the Garlic Mustard Challenge. After completing the training, you're encouraged to take the Garlic Mustard Challenge - commit to spending an additional six hours pulling garlic mustard in the park before June 15. Worried about the time commitment? Team up with friends and family to meet this goal, and remember that every little bit helps!

Ages: Families are welcome! Youth under the age of 12 will need an attentive adult to help them learn to identify and properly pull this plant.
Time Commitment: Minimum of two hours, although volunteers are encouraged to give additional hours as their schedule allows.
Contact: Garrett Zaffke, or 651.438.4635
Host Families for High School International Exchange Students
International Student Exchange
Date/Time: Students arrive in August and January, and stay five months, ten months or one year and attend local public high schools.
Location: Your home and community

ISE is seeking families to host incoming international exchange students. This is a fantastic opportunity for families who wish to enrich their families' culture, to build memories and friendships, and to showcase their culture and values. Host families are expected to provide basic room and board. Students coming to the United States through ISE will arrive with spending money and health insurance. Students may share a room with siblings of the same sex. International students are between the ages of 15 and 18 ½. Host families are assigned a supervising area representative to help you through the entire process from beginning to end. The supervising representative will be with you every step of the way providing extensive guidance and support during the student's exchange program.

Ages: Families of all shapes and sizes are welcome. An adult over the age of 25 must be part of the household.
Time Commitment: Five months, ten months or one year.
Contact: Lisa, 800.766.4656x103 for additional information or referral to a local representative. Click here for the link to becoming a host family.
Download DGT's Feelings Flashcards and Play Empathy-Building Games
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Anytime
Location: Your home or community
Download and print our Feelings Flashcards and use them to play a variety of games that help kids of all ages recognize and converse about different emotions.
Ages: Preschool on up
Time Commitment: Games will take 15 to 60 minutes.
Planning a school, family, or faith group event? Make it a chance to do good for others!  Doing Good Together™ Family Service Fairs allow groups of all ages to serve others in a two-hour fair-style experience. Attendees come together to do simple and fun hands-on projects that benefit Twin Cities nonprofit organizations. You pick the place and date, and we can help coordinate! Contact Nassim at to get started.



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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (
 When calling to volunteer for any of the opportunities listed above, please let the coordinator know you found it through this listing. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have of the sponsoring organization before committing to a project.
Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service to families. Inclusion of organizations in this listing does not imply affiliation, endorsement or quality assurance on the part of Doing Good Together.™ Doing Good Together™ bears no responsibility whatsoever for the activities and actions of the listed organizations. 

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